19/01/2017 10:09 PM IST | Updated 19/01/2017 10:28 PM IST

Ahead Of The Visit Of Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince, India And UAE Will Hold Their 1st Strategic Dialogue

The Crown Prince will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year.

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Ahead of the visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade here, India and UAE will hold their first strategic dialogue tomorrow to discuss cooperation in key areas including energy, trade and security.

Announcing Al Nahyan's visit between January 24-26, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup today said the dignitary would call on the President and the Vice-President as well as hold discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on "bilateral, regional and global issues of common interest".

The Strategic Dialogue, being held for the first time since the two sides have agreed to elevate the mutually beneficial relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership after Modi's visit there in 2015, will be co- chaired by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs M J Akbar and his Saudi counterpart Anwar Mohammed Gargash.

According to officials, the Strategic Cooperation Agreement is expected to be finalised during tomorrow's meeting and is likely to be signed after the meeting between Modi and Al Nahyan, who is also Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of UAE.

This is the second visit of the Crown Prince to India who travelled here in February 2016. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Ministers, senior officials and captains of industry.

During the visit, the two sides will explore ways to strengthen ties in key areas of energy and trade.

The two countries have been among each other's top trading partners with a well-balanced bilateral trade of about USD 50 billion in 2015-16.

"UAE is among the top investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments. It contributes significantly to India's energy security and is the fifth largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2015-16," Swarup said.

Noting that there was about 2.6 million strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in UAE, he said, "Their positive and well-appreciated contribution in the development of their host country has been an important anchor of our excellent bilateral engagement."

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